NORTHERN QUEBEC – AURIZON MINES of Vancouver is advancing pre-production work at the former Casa Berardi gold mine near Val d’Or. Commercial production is expected by the end of this year at a rate of 175,000 oz/year and a total cash cost of US$219/oz.
By the middle of January 2006, Aurizon had completed site construction including a new headframe, hoist room, hoist installation and surface ore and waste bins. Before start-up, a new power line will be strung from the main substation to the shaft, the cement plant and the rockfill raise collar. Modifications to the mine ventilation system were nearing completion, and work was underway to refurbish the mill.
Underground development was progressing. The shaft has been raised from the 550-metre level to the collar, and slashing had reached 325 metres below surface. The shaft will be deepened using conventional sinking from 550 metres to 790 metres. The ramp is 75% complete, to 690 metres below surface. Seven ore development headings are being established along the 650- and 670-metre levels. Two raises have been completedthe ventilation raise to the 550-metre level and the fill raise from the 550- to 670-metre level. Stope preparation will begin in Q3 in zone 113 and zone NW.
Aurizon has a development and definition drill program underway with the objective of extending mine life beyond the initial six years. In 2006, 23,000 metres of surface exploration drilling is planned to test the extension of the open pit, inferred mineral resource in the area of the East mine, and to test the dip extension of the Casa Berardi fault, west of the West mine area. In addition 14,000 metres of underground drilling, from the existing 550-metre track drift, is planned to further delineate the inferred resources contained in zones 118 to 120.
Keep abreast of project development at www.Aurizon.com.